North Carolina’s discriminatory bathroom bill comes with a steep price tag

Signage outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, North Carolina.
Image: Gerry Broome/AP/REX/Shutterstock

North Carolina is losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year due to a 2016 law panned as discriminatory.

The state’s infamous “bathroom bill” will cost it $3.76 billion over the next dozen years, according to the Associated Press.

That cost comes in lost business.

The law which targeted LGBT people by allowing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and prevented transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponded to their gender identity has led to organizations, conferences and sporting events moving away form North Carolina.

PayPal was set to add around $2.66 billion to the economy over 12 years with a new facility in the state, but decided against it after the legislation. Adidas decided not to pick North Carolina for a new factory that would have added an estimated $67 million to the state’s economy. After the bill became law, the NBA moved its all-star game and Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert there.

The Boss, playing in a city that is not in North Carolina.

Image: Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock

These are just a small sampling of the economic costs of the bill as tallied by the AP, and even the AP’s full accounting likely doesn’t reflect the true cost of the legislation. Some employers have likely reconsidered North Carolina plans behind closed doors, and organizations such as the NCAA are looking elsewhere when planning their future tournaments.

That’s not to say the state is in dire straits. North Carolina still has one of the nation’s best economies. But supporters of the bill have long said its economic costs costs have been next to nothing, and this proves that’s not the case.

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